I Just Don’t Measure up…


I often hear people blame their difficulties on their parents and how they were treated when they grew up.  You know the story, right?  My daddy didn’t love me!  My parents didn’t give me the love or encouragement I needed, therefore the troubles I’m going through today aren’t really my fault, right?  Daddy didn’t treat me right, mommy didn’t treat me right, and I was so young and impressionable!  Well, my wife and I were on this topic today (and a blog was born!).  How many folks in the world do you suppose really grew up in a totally loving, encouraging, God-inspired environment?  Really, how many?  Less than 5%, 2%?  I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of people grew up with parents that were less than perfect as becomes obvious when you have the privilege (or responsibility) to be a parent yourself.  I believe  parents often say and do things that hurt their kids because they aren’t thinking about their kids, they are thinking about themselves.  Welcome to the human experience!

So, what does that have to do with the mental malady called, “I don’t measure up?”  Well, quite a bit actually.  Living in the world, we are all subject to messages; messages that are always trying to convince us of one big thing.  That ‘thing’ is that we are not good enough.  Not good enough to have good things happen in our lives; not good enough for God’s love and protection; not good enough to be and do the things we dream of being and doing.  If I was the adversary, that great opponent of mankind, and I knew that people’s lives were lived in direct proportion to what they believed (expected) in their hearts, then it would make perfect sense for me to focus my energy on getting those same people to focus on themselves and what was wrong with themselves.  Convince them to spend their days and nights rehearsing and cataloging all the things that weren’t so good about them and how they failed to measure up!   Then, as the ultimate dagger, convince them that they are not good enough for God’s love and blessing in their lives.  And, as a consequence to that, watch their believing diminish to beggar levels.  And while they are experiencing a good case of the ‘not worthys’ they are sitting ducks for similar insane doctrines like, “God wants you to be poor to keep you humble” and, “money is evil and it’s better not to have any or at least not have much!”  Hmmm…

So, we are left with the question, are we good enough?  Do we deserve the best things in life?  The answer surprisingly is not so simple.  The answer is yes and no.  (Cumon man I was looking for solutions!)  God, who dreamed up the idea of people, knows that the basic cry of the heart of man is to be righteous before God; to be worthy of His love and goodness.  It’s in man’s heart.  Even the person who denies the existence of God still has to ‘make himself’ right in order to feel worthy or deserving of good things.  You can hear it in the things people say.  “I try to live a good life!”  “I give to the poor!”  “I always try to give back!”  Feeling worthy of good things has a huge impact on what people believe they can achieve and receive.  Yet the problem is how can we become worthy?  After all, if we are besieged daily with the message that we are not worthy or that we don’t measure up, how can we become worthy?  What can we do to measure up?  Here’s the yes and no part.  No you cannot measure up to become worthy on your own.  You cannot!  Do you hear me?  Cannot!  You cannot make yourself good enough.  Oh you can make yourself feel better or you can make yourself feel righteous by doing righteous acts, but in that pursuit you are going to find out the hard way that, that course has no end-point.  Today’s righteousness won’t be good enough for tomorrow’s righteous requirements and so on and so on… This is the hamster wheel called religion.  Give up this; say no to that; more discipline; more sweat; more sacrifice; soon God (or substitute Dad/Mom) will love me, right?  It’s a lost cause folks.  God, being all-knowing, knew that man in his fallen state could never live up to what it would take to make himself righteous before Him, so he did something spectacular.  He made man worthy by something that He (God) did and not by what man did/does.  He gave His perfect son, the worthy (and only guy that ever lived up to it) for the unworthy.  He did it and He did it by His grace.  So, yes…He made us deserving; He made us worthy!  That’s why He is God!  He is cool like that!

So, what is our response?  Stop trying to measure up!  Stop trying to earn anyone’s love!  Love cannot be earned.   Take the time to learn who God made you to be and walk out on what He said.  Come on man, you’ve already spent a hundred years listening to the wrong source (even if it came via Daddy).  You have already accepted that foul message that said you didn’t deserve to have or be anything in life.   Don’t fight that fire with more fire, pour a little truth on it and watch the flames flicker out.  You show me an unsuccessful person (side-note: money aint the only measure of success) and I will show you a person who doesn’t see any value in themselves.  You see, none of us have much value in just ourselves.  Our value comes from God.  If God says you are righteous and holy, then by God you are righteous and you are holy, if the world never agrees with you!

Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of the “measure-up” malady for another second.  Take a look at the folks you see enjoying success and ask yourself, how righteous of their own works are they?  Haha  All of us are about one misstep away from behaving badly, so don’t be so hard on yourself.  In fact, get your mind off yourself and on to what God has done for you in Christ Jesus. Shift your focus away from the impossible (becoming worthy/deserving) to the possible (God has made me worthy/deserving)!

And finally, don’t be sad because Daddy didn’t say he loved you; God is the best Daddy ever and He is telling you He loves you right now!  😉

You are worth it…

Just some good thoughts…

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